Patch Poll: What Should Trader Joe's do with its Leftover Food?

Film Director Jeremy Seifert has launched a campaign through change.org asking Trader Joe's to stop wasting food.

Every year, Americans throw away 96 billion pounds of food. This translates to 263 million pounds a day. 

That's why Dive! director Jeremy Seifert has launched a campaign through change.org asking Monrovia-based grocery store to stop wasting food.

"For many years now, I have fed my family food from the dumpster. It’s not because I can’t afford to shop at grocery stores like other, normal folks," he wrote on change.org. "It’s because supermarkets across the nation toss perfectly good meats, cheeses, eggs, and produce into the trash every, single day."

For Seifert, supermarkets stand out as one of the country's worst offenders in wasting food, and he hopes his campaign will inspire the “friendly neighborhood store” to donate the food to those in need rather than simply throwing it away. 

Thus far, 31,890 people have signed the petition

Patch asks: What do you think South Pasadena's Trader Joe's should do with it's leftover food? Do you know of a shelter in town in need of the donations? Weigh in below, and we're happy to pass your comments along to your local store! 

Elliot Kwock June 25, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Trader Joe's Food Donation Programs Fighting hunger is central to what we do. We are a grocery store. Thus, providing food for people in need is one of our most important giving priorities. In 2010, Trader Joe's donated more than 25 million pounds of food – that's equal to almost 656 truckloads of food or 20 million meals. Trader Joe's long running policy is to donate products that are not fit for sale but are safe for consumption. Each store has a designated Donation Coordinator, whose responsibilities include working with local food banks, food pantries, and/or soup kitchens in their communities to facilitate donations, seven days a week. We continuously strive to improve our processes in our efforts to reduce food waste and provide hunger relief.
Elliot Kwock June 25, 2011 at 02:02 AM
That was from the TJ website. Please research your questions better.
Henk Friezer June 25, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Having worked with the homeless and homeless support organizations for many years, I can attest that Trader Joe's (specifically South Pas) has been extremely generous. They are one of the biggest donors to Holy Family's giving Bank; and the the LAMP organization downtown (LAMP is one of the biggest shelters in downtown skid row, with 3 locations) to name a few. They donate produce, baked goods, numerous miscellaneous items to these outreach programs. Unlike their competitors like Vons/Pavilions who only donate scant amounts of baked goods, these stores have decided to send other such as dairy,meats, produce, and all other items they used to donate, back for COMPOST. So instead of helping needy people in this dire time they have decided to curtail their donations program. Trader Joe's has gone the opposite direction, they donate whatever they can. Items that may no longer be salable but still good for consumption they will save and make sure needy and hungry people benefit from their losses. So speaking for myself and all homeless advocates, THANK YOU TJ!
Henk Friezer June 25, 2011 at 04:08 AM
Just a quick add on to previous comment. I do not know where Seifert gets his info, but if he dives into the dumpster at the local Trader Joe's he is not going to find anything except real TRASH, because TJ donates all the good salvageable merchandise. So good luck trying to find something except real garbage in their dumpster!
Kristen Lepore (Editor) June 25, 2011 at 04:39 AM
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad our local Trader Joe's is contributing to the community. We are going to make some calls and see what Trader Joe's has to say about this petition.
David Melford June 25, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Our local TJ market donated water at a pinch of notice for Relay for Life, that was awesome.
Sarah Parsons June 27, 2011 at 01:22 PM
Some individual TJ's stores *do* donate their soon-to-expire food to food banks, homeless shelters, etc. Others, however, do not do this (check out Seifert's film Dive for firsthand evidence: http://www.divethefilm.com/). What Jeremy Seifert is asking for is a COMPANY-WIDE, zero food waste policy. The stores that are already doing great work can keep on doing it, and those lagging behind would be forced to better manage their food waste.
Anthony Guthmiller June 28, 2011 at 09:36 PM
On behalf of everyone here at AIDS Service Center, we want to thank Trader Joes of South Pasadena for donating food every week to our clients. They have done this for over a year and have fed hundreds of individuals and familes in our community. A store wide policy would be good, but until then we are grateful for the support of individuals stores such as South Pasadena. They along with volunteers such as Linda Hess of Urban Harvester make the difference in what can do for our clients. Thank you.
carrie-ann lue sue July 12, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, our local Trader Joe's of South Pasadena donates all their leftover baked goods, meats, salads, fruits and vegetables to support our food pantry, the Giving Bank at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena. It helps weekly supplement our dried groceries distributed to 250 low-income families and seniors. They also make a huge difference daily, to the homeless men and women who can't make the lines elsewhere as they look forward to those salads that would otherwise go to the trash! Other organizations would rather get paid for their leftovers to be turned into cattle feed or compost. Thank you Trader Joe's for all that you have done to reduce hunger in our community and surrounding areas!
Kristen Lepore (Editor) July 12, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Thanks for sharing, Carrie-Ann. We recently spoke to Trader Joe's as well as the creator of the film Dive!, which was filmed in S. Pas and Pasadena. Filmmaker Jeremy Seifret says he's gotten a lot of slack for making the documentary but sticks to his claims that Trader Joe's does not donate enough and would like to see a company-wide policy. I'll let you know when the complete story is up.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) July 26, 2011 at 11:53 PM
In case you haven't seen it yet. Here's our Trader Joe's follow-up published to Patch last week: http://patch.com/A-kvTr


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